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Sudan Accepts UN Darfur Force


frogfish

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Sudan 'accepts UN Darfur force'

About 2.5 million people in Darfur have been made homeless

Sudan will agree in principle to the deployment of UN troops as part of an expanded peacekeeping force in Darfur, a top Sudanese envoy has confirmed.

Negotiator Sadig al-Magli told the BBC the deal showed his government's commitment to peace - although he said the size of the force was not settled.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has until now opposed any involvement of the UN in the western region.

Nearly four years of fighting in Darfur has killed some 200,000 people.

More than two million people have been displaced.

The conflict began in early 2003, when a rebellion by local groups triggered a counter-offensive by the army and government-backed Arab militias.

Q&A: Peacekeeping in Darfur

The UN has been urging Sudan to implement a plan to strengthen the existing African Union (AU) force with dozens of UN experts.

The force is then to be expanded into a hybrid force, with UN troops providing logistical and other support. The aim is for most troops to come from African countries.

Mr Magli told the BBC's Newshour radio programme Sudan had accepted the plan "to beef up the under-equipped, underfunded AU forces in Darfur to show its flexibility... with a view to showing its seriousness to bring this crisis to a halt."

The UN envoy in Khartoum, Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, told the BBC he expected to get written confirmation soon of the Sudanese government's acceptance of the deal.

Under pressure

On Friday, outgoing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he believed the president would also agree to a ceasefire and moves to restart talks with Darfur political groups.

Last week, the US warned Sudan it would face unspecified sanctions if it did not agree to the plan by January.

As of now it is still mainly the African troops, the African peacekeeping troops who are going to be the main ones handling the situation

Sudanese ambassador in Washington

Correspondents say Sudan appears to have bowed to considerable international pressure.

But there are still areas of contention - Sudan wants the AU to stay in command of the force, and Khartoum has not said how many UN troops will be allowed on the ground.

The UN had wanted to deploy an extra 20,000 peacekeepers to bolster the existing AU force of 7,000 soldiers.

The Sudanese ambassador in Washington told the BBC that the UN force, whatever its size, would have a supporting role - and that the AU peacekeepers would be in charge.

Violence has escalated sharply in Darfur in the last few weeks.

Late last week, the AU blamed the deteriorating security situation on the re-emergence of the pro-government Arab Janjaweed militias, and urged Khartoum to disarm the groups.

Aid agencies have withdrawn 250 workers this month, leaving many in Darfur vulnerable.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6204489.stm?ls

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Finally, a step forward.

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Nearly four years of fighting in Darfur has killed some 200,000 people.

Most estimates I've heard (UN, humanitarian agencies, etc) have been double that.

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Most estimates I've heard (UN, humanitarian agencies, etc) have been double that

:yes: I've heard around 500,000 from the UN. I guess it depends on the source.

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Savedarfur.org on their commercial say 400,000 people.

I don't know... Why send a UN force in? Surely, they can figure it out themselves and things will move forward in the future.

The movie 'Blood Diamond' had a good point... They fight over anything...gold, oil, rubber, diamonds... There is no stopping it and there is little you can do to stop it.

There was a recent article in Times magazine about the Congo that really was just awful and quite disgusting in the picture they painted on what is going on there, yet you don't see that on the news at night or large groups of hippies or people that want action done calling out really. Darfur is a popular conflict to jump on the band wagon with to get some "Oh, I care!" points. In a short period of passing, Darfur will be forgotten just like the Congo and the many other African conflicts that are seemly non-stop.

Edited by __Kratos__
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Why send a UN force in?

To save innocent men, women, and children from rape and massacre?

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To save innocent men, women, and children from rape and massacre?

To protect the oil investments of China?

Who is the UN force going to fight? The freedom fighter groups who want more money going to areas of the country for a better life for all people instead of select areas that are booming with growth? Or are they doing to take on the arab fighters/Sudan soldiers to dismantle the government? Best guess would be to take on the government contracted fighters and themselves, which isn't going to be a walk in the park. So then the forces are going to do the job of the freedom fighters, to take on a government? Or just perhaps shield the civillians for a period of time in large camps till whenever and then leave, so the fighting will just pick up where it left off?

Funny, how people can support the helping of innocent men, women and children from rape and slaughter in Darfur but when Iraq comes up in discussion, it's a different story. Are black children more special then arab children?

I should add... If the UN supported a full scale attack on Sudan's government to replace it for the better of all people, I can support that I think. Depending on what they do. This poke around for a bit just won't really solve anything at all.

Edited by __Kratos__
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Who is the UN force going to fight?

The Janjaweed. Firstly, the UN doesn't fight, they protect. It's called peacekeeping. They're in there to protect lives and improve the humanitarian crisis, not destroy the Sudan gov't or Janjaweed.

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The Janjaweed. Firstly, the UN doesn't fight, they protect. It's called peacekeeping. They're in there to protect lives and improve the humanitarian crisis, not destroy the Sudan gov't or Janjaweed.

Yeah, so they'll just stand around protecting them... Forever? Or will they protect for a while and then leave... Letting the fighting pick up where it left off?

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Forever? Or will they protect for a while and then leave... Letting the fighting pick up where it left off?

What they probably would try to is help set up a new government.

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What they probably would try to is help set up a new government.

You said before they weren't going to destroy the government. Even if they do fix the government, the arab fighters are still there and the black freedom fighters are still there as well. How are you going to force a standing government to invest in other areas of it's country when it's already investing heavily in select areas? Are we just going to ignore those two groups in the protecting of civillians, so they'll just fight and kill each other?

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To protect the oil investments of China?
China is one of the world's largest arms dealers and if it isn't (illegally) directly sending weapons into Darfur, at the very least it's supplying them to the Sudanese government. More than that, Sudan has been playing with the U.N. using the threat of China's veto power on the Security Council. They're doing fine whether the world community steps in or not.

Who is the UN force going to fight? The freedom fighter groups who want more money going to areas of the country for a better life for all people instead of select areas that are booming with growth? Or are they doing to take on the arab fighters/Sudan soldiers to dismantle the government? Best guess would be to take on the government contracted fighters and themselves, which isn't going to be a walk in the park. So then the forces are going to do the job of the freedom fighters, to take on a government? Or just perhaps shield the civillians for a period of time in large camps till whenever and then leave, so the fighting will just pick up where it left off?

First off, in case you missed the point of this thread, this is going to happen. As the UN itself says

He noted that the UN is in the process of carrying out the first phase, which involves deploying UN police advisers and military officers to Darfur. “We are going to move very quickly on that,” he said, calling this “a way of testing the Government’s willingness to cooperate.”

By a “light support package,” 24 police advisers and 43 staff officers will start to be deployed in the next few days. Under an initial $21 million support package to the AU, agreed upon last month, the UN peacekeeping operation in southern Sudan (UNMIS) will provide 105 military advisers, 33 police officers and 48 civilian staff, as well as equipment.

The overall aim is to deploy a hybrid UN-AU peacekeeping force in Darfur, made up of 17,000 troops and 3,000 police officers, compared to AMIS’ current strength of just 7,000 to monitor an area roughly the size of France.

The Secretary-General said the UN would work expeditiously with the Chairman of the AU to name a joint special representative and the commander “who hopefully will bring some fresh ideas” to the operation.

Asked about his level of confidence in President Bashir, Mr. Annan said, “For now, the letter is positive.”

No one is dismantling the Sudanese government. There's a hot zone where rebels, Janjaweed, and civilians are killing or dying. Peacekeeping entails going in and stopping that from happening as best they can. The Janjaweed have always been raiders in a sense but they're only dangerous as long as they're supplied with weapons and equipment by the Sudanese government. This implies pressure should be put on the government and, if need be, the weapons need to be physically taken from the Janjaweed.

Funny, how people can support the helping of innocent men, women and children from rape and slaughter in Darfur but when Iraq comes up in discussion, it's a different story. Are black children more special then arab children?
Iraq is very much a different story. We threw out their government and for a very long time left nothing in its place, resulting in the deaths of a great many people. How many more stand to die in the civil war that's revving up there? If we stopped the rape and slaughter in Iraq, why do I read about 20 headless, tortured corpses being found in the street every other day? We did a very stupid thing by destabilizing a country with a volatile mix of peoples and now we can't restabilize it (and, in fact, our very presence amplifies the hate feeding the violence). The vast majority of Iraqis want us to leave. If a civil war is in the making, we can't stop it nor can we fight it for them. Sadly, there are no longer any good options.

Darfur is an ongoing genocide, as recognized by the United States government. This suggests the necessity for a multilateral effort to stop the killing (not overthrow the government). This is especially important now that the conflict is starting to spill over into Chad and the CAR.

I should add... If the UN supported a full scale attack on Sudan's government to replace it for the better of all people, I can support that I think. Depending on what they do. This poke around for a bit just won't really solve anything at all.

That would seem to be a very bad idea.

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China is one of the world's largest arms dealers and if it isn't (illegally) directly sending weapons into Darfur, at the very least it's supplying them to the Sudanese government. More than that, Sudan has been playing with the U.N. using the threat of China's veto power on the Security Council. They're doing fine whether the world community steps in or not.
Yes, China does supplie arms to African nations but with their booming at home, they need oil more then they need arms sales. It would still be a loss for the Chinese if there were sanctions put on Sudan.

No one is dismantling the Sudanese government. There's a hot zone where rebels, Janjaweed, and civilians are killing or dying. Peacekeeping entails going in and stopping that from happening as best they can. The Janjaweed have always been raiders in a sense but they're only dangerous as long as they're supplied with weapons and equipment by the Sudanese government. This implies pressure should be put on the government and, if need be, the weapons need to be physically taken from the Janjaweed.

While all along they're just dancing along until the UN slacks on an area and/or the UN leaves for a bit. There's a UN operation, world's largest, in the Congo that is still going on and they are still having slaughters and horrible rapes each and every single day. There was fighting earlier this week between the government and rebels, while civillians still suffered. Just because the UN is going to work with the area, doesn't mean it's going to get any less better.

The UN said last year they only needed 8,000 troops to help Darfur, so people in their nice suits and ties bickered and ate lobster for over a year and a half only to finally see that the amount of damage is going to take more then twice that. So now they want more then 2 and a half times more then that in support roles. Are they just pulling numbers out of the sky?

Iraq is very much a different story.
No, not really at all.

Some people want to call Iraq a civil war... Here is the definition of genocide:

Deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.

library.thinkquest.org/13915/gather/glossary.htm

Shiites vs Sunnis would be indeed a genocide. Right? I mean there are hundreds dying each week/month.

Darfur is a population of a few million, while Iraq is a population of over 26 million.

Shouldn't we help "To save innocent men, women, and children from rape and massacre?"

That would seem to be a very bad idea.

Indeed, but I don't see really any other plans for success that would really work. That would be a slim chance but still a pretty good one. To hit them hard and fast would be probably one of the best things to do, instead of dancing with them waiting.

If they're just there to protect against the Janjaweed from what they do, even though they're backed by Sudan. So we're going to be seemly taking the rebels side of things to fight the government. Even if we don't do that offically, that's what will it seem like. So if those rebels do take control, then what? Or if those rebels are defeated by Sudan and it's Janjaweed, does the UN protect civillians against it's own government? I don't see how it's going to simply stop because the UN barks. Why I think the UN should bite instead.

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The UN said last year they only needed 8,000 troops to help Darfur, so people in their nice suits and ties bickered and ate lobster for over a year and a half only to finally see that the amount of damage is going to take more then twice that. So now they want more then 2 and a half times more then that in support roles. Are they just pulling numbers out of the sky?
I'm confused: are you dissatisfied with the inaction of the U.N. with regard to this situation or do you stand by "Why send a UN force in? Surely, they can figure it out themselves and things will move forward in the future" ?

Some people want to call Iraq a civil war... Here is the definition of genocide:

Deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.

library.thinkquest.org/13915/gather/glossary.htm

Shiites vs Sunnis would be indeed a genocide. Right? I mean there are hundreds dying each week/month.

And here's the wikipedia defintion of a civil war:

A civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. Political scientists use two criteria: the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second criterion is that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.

Genocide is inherently a one-sided affair--that's why an outside force is needed to intervene in the first place. A civil war is not.

Darfur is a population of a few million, while Iraq is a population of over 26 million.

Shouldn't we help "To save innocent men, women, and children from rape and massacre?"

You talk as if we're not currently in Iraq. Are you arguing we should send more troops? Or just never leave? I'm not denying innocent people are dying; the fact that they are seems to suggest we can't stop that, nor does that seem to be our primary mission in Iraq. Staying the course won't stop the killing. Staying grounded in realism means realizing at some point that you can only do what you can do. And it stinks but there are any number of terrible situations where there's little to nothing we can do.

The world's preeminent humanitarian crisis, thankfully, does not seem to be one of them. You yourself point out one very good reason a mission to Darfur is more likely to suceed than one in Iraq: it's a smaller area with a more focused mission.

If they're just there to protect against the Janjaweed from what they do, even though they're backed by Sudan. So we're going to be seemly taking the rebels side of things to fight the government. Even if we don't do that offically, that's what will it seem like.

Read the title of this thread.

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I'm confused: are you dissatisfied with the inaction of the U.N. with regard to this situation or do you stand by "Why send a UN force in? Surely, they can figure it out themselves and things will move forward in the future" ?
I'm still at "why send a UN force in?" If they're just going to put a band-aid over a gun shot wound, why bother? The band-aid will fail soon enough.

And here's the wikipedia defintion of a civil war:

A civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. Political scientists use two criteria: the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second criterion is that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.

Genocide is inherently a one-sided affair--that's why an outside force is needed to intervene in the first place. A civil war is not.

Yet, the rebels fighting against the government is considered a civil war, where then in turn those civillians are being slaughtered in because people from their area want to fight for a better life from the booming Sudan from oil sales. Even out the countries investments instead of only helping the elites.

You talk as if we're not currently in Iraq. Are you arguing we should send more troops? Or just never leave? I'm not denying innocent people are dying; the fact that they are seems to suggest we can't stop that, nor does that seem to be our primary mission in Iraq. Staying the course won't stop the killing. Staying grounded in realism means realizing at some point that you can only do what you can do. And it stinks but there are any number of terrible situations where there's little to nothing we can do.

The world's preeminent humanitarian crisis, thankfully, does not seem to be one of them. You yourself point out one very good reason a mission to Darfur is more likely to suceed than one in Iraq: it's a smaller area with a more focused mission.

I'm for more troops and I'm against never leaving. Get the job done and double check then wave. I know it's not as simple as that but that's what it boils down to at the end of things.

Not really more of a chance then Iraq. It has a chance, don't get me wrong but I do doubt it'll get far. If the UN is just going to follow through with this instead of taking full action, it's going to be next to pointless and get them no where. The UN seemly is too nice with Sudan. It accusses and has evidence of Sudan's excitement and squeals of joy to support the mass slaughter and rape of civillians but yet in the end the UN still asks for Sudan's permission to come in and then let Sudan make the terms of them going in.

Read the title of this thread.

I did. If they didn't accept these troops for some degree of "progress" in the eyes of rich suits, they would be faced with sanctions. Sanctions is really the last thing a booming economy needs, even though China might veto that action, it would still raise questions and hurt them. Much easier to set your own terms on how the UN conducts business in your country and then allow them to come in, rather then have them take their own action.

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Yet, the rebels fighting against the government is considered a civil war, where then in turn those civillians are being slaughtered in because people from their area want to fight for a better life from the booming Sudan from oil sales. Even out the countries investments instead of only helping the elites.

I don't know why you think Sudan is a civil war...It's an ethnic cleansing. The Janjaweed are backed up by the Sudanese goverment. They were covered by fighter jets! That's why the UN needs to intervene.

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I don't know why you think Sudan is a civil war...It's an ethnic cleansing. The Janjaweed are backed up by the Sudanese goverment. They were covered by fighter jets! That's why the UN needs to intervene.

The starting point of the conflict in the Darfur region is typically said to be 26 February 2003, when a group calling itself the Darfur Liberation Front (DLF) publicly claimed credit for an attack on Golo, the headquarters of Jebel Marra District. Even prior to this attack, however, a conflict had erupted in Darfur, as rebels had already attacked police stations, army outposts and military convoys, and the government had engaged in a massive air and land assault on the rebel stronghold in the Marrah Mountains. The rebels' first military action was a successful attack on an army garrison on the mountain on 25 February 2002 and the Sudanese government had been aware of a unified rebel movement since an attack on the Golo police station in June 2002. Chroniclers Julie Flint and Alex de Waal state that the beginning of the rebellion is better dated to 21 July 2001, when a group of Zaghawa and Fur met in Abu Gamra and swore oaths on the Qur'an to work together to defend against government-sponsored attacks on their villages.[10] It should be noted that nearly all of the residents of Darfur are Muslim, as are the Janjaweed and the government leaders in Khartoum.[11]

Source

The Janjaweed's purpose there is to kill those rebels that are fighting and were winning against the government of Sudan. If you read down, the Janjaweed got the upper hand with better weapons after they were brought in to fight.

There are a handful of rebel groups there all fighting against the Janjaweed/Sudan government. As a result of that, the Janjaweed are mass slaughtering/raping.

Seemly that would point to a civil war with large groups fighting against the government for change and the government fighting back.

If the UN goes in, they're going to have to do more then just protect civillians or I doubt it'll make a difference.

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Update: Darfur peace plan hits snag

UNITED NATIONS - Sudan raised new doubts Wednesday about its commitment to a U.N. peace effort in the violence-wracked Darfur region as its U.N. envoy ruled out any U.N. peacekeeping troops -- a key element of the world body's proposal.

The surprise statement came just minutes after the U.N. Security Council announced that it welcomed the Sudanese president's acceptance of the U.N. plan to help end the escalating conflict -- a plan that includes deployment of a "hybrid" African Union-United Nations force.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan had told Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in a letter earlier this month that every effort would be made to find African troops for a hybrid force of 17,300 military personnel and 5,300 police, but if that proved impossible the U.N. would use "a broader pool of troop contributing countries."

But Sudan Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem told reporters on Wednesday evening that the hybrid force must be smaller and have no U.N. peacekeepers, only U.N. technical and logistical experts supporting African troops.

"The force is African, the leader is an African," he said. "There is support and logistical support staff by the U.N., wearing their own helmets, but they are not going to engage in peacekeeping activities."

Four years of fighting

The U.N. is seeking its own force for Darfur because African Union peacekeepers currently in the region have been unable to quell nearly four years of fighting which has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced 2.5 million in the region.

Fighting began in February 2003 when rebels from black African tribes took up arms, complaining of discrimination and oppression by Sudan's Arab-dominated government. The government is accused of unleashing Arab tribal militia known as the Janjaweed against civilians in a campaign of murder, rape and arson -- a charge the government denies.

The envoy's comments came as a surprise because al-Bashir said in a letter to Annan released Tuesday and discussed by the council on Wednesday that Sudan is ready "to start immediately" to implement two recent agreements that endorsed the three-step U.N. plan to beef up the beleaguered 7,000-strong African Union force in Darfur.

Annan emerged from Wednesday's council meeting telling reporters that "the president has accepted the three-phased approach as a package," and that council members "are encouraged by the positive tone" of al-Bashir's letter.

In a press statement later, the council welcomed al-Bashir's letter in which he reconfirmed his commitment to peace efforts approved in recent international meetings in Ethiopia and Nigeria.

Annan told reporters the first phase of the U.N. package was already being implemented "and we're going to accelerate that -- and, of course, that's a way of testing the government's willingness to cooperate."

It would add 105 military officers, 33 U.N. police, 48 international staffers, 36 armored personnel carriers to the African Union force, according to a U.N. report last month.

A second, larger support package would include the deployment of several hundred U.N. military, police and civilian personnel to the African Union mission. The third phase is the deployment of the hybrid force.

‘An overwhelming number’

Abdalhaleem said that under the Darfur Peace Agreement the government and one rebel group signed in May, a 20,000-strong force from the government and former rebels will be created. That force plus 7,000 troops from the AU will provide "an overwhelming number" that can ensure security, he said.

In Khartoum, the Sudanese government confirmed it was permitting the first U.N. experts to head to Darfur. But the numbers it gave were lower than those mentioned by the U.N.

Sadeq Al-Magli, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said 18 military experts and 20 policemen would soon head to Al Fasher, capital of North Darfur.

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